How Much Does Probate Cost?

Whether you have a will or you are going through probate without a will, there will be costs associated with the process. It is true that when you are working through probate without a will, the cost will likely be less than if there is one in place. And, complications to the process, such as whether you can sell a house in probate or wait until it is over, can also determine fees. Here’s a closer look at some of the costs you can expect.

Court Costs

The cost of the probate process can sometimes be as high as five percent of the estate’s value. A key component of this process is court fees. This is a very wide-ranging figure. It is determined by state law and, in some cases, local laws. Court costs can range from filing fees of $100 to $2,000 or more depending on the complexity and number of hearings that occur.

Executor Fees

The executor of the will or estate charges a fee. In some cases, the executor waives the fee especially if this person is likely to inherit all or most of the estate. However, it is possible for these fees to be paid. The amount can range widely but is usually based on a specific figure representing the amount of work the executor has to do during the process.

Attorney Fees

Attorney fees are the bulk of the costs paid during the probate process. These costs are typically a percentage of the value of the estate, sometimes billed hourly and through retainers. Attorney costs can be as much as 5 percent of the estate’s value, according to Nolo.

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Appraisal and Valuations

One of the steps in the probate process is understanding the value of the estate’s property. This is how the court determines if these items should be kept or if you can sell a house before probate closes to pay fees and creditors.

Appraisal and valuation fees can range widely based on location. They typically range from $200 for a smaller item up to $500 or more for a home. If you plan to sell probate house and property after the probate closes, chances are good you still need to appraise the real estate to ensure the right decision is made. However, the probate house sale process can be more costly during the probate period than afterward.

Other Costs to Consider

It is also important to consider the costs associated with the actual selling of the property. The probate house sale process can be drawn out, requiring maintenance and upkeep on the property. It can also mean paying for the marketing of the property, real estate agent fees, and much more. There’s also the need to keep paying the mortgage if the property is subject to a loan at the time of the owner’s death. This can also increase the overall cost of managing the estate and limits the property’s value in the long term.

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